Laura books spot in world final

Laura Massaro
Laura Massaro
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Chorley’s Laura Massaro is set to compete for a second World Championship title after defeating Egyptian World No.3 Raneem El Welily in a dramatic five-game semi-final in Malaysia.

Massaro eased to the opener in comfortable style, before El Welily levelled in the second and almost took the third, but surrendered a five-point lead to hand Massaro the initiative.

A blistering start to the fourth from El Welily brought the match back to all square once more but Massaro again took the reigns in the fifth to amass four match balls.

El Welily fought back to send the match to a tie-break, but Massaro held out and a fine boast evaded El Welily’s grasp to give the World No.1 an 11-2, 7-11, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10 victory which ensures she will take on Nour El Sherbini, who she beat in the 2013 final, after she got the better of Nouran Gohar.

“I think Raneem and I aways have battles and she’s such a good player,” said Massaro.

“If you don’t play her in exactly the right way then you get severely punished.

“She played well in patches, I played well in patches and in some ways it’s a fair result.

“I’ve played two World Championship semi-finals on a tie-break against her so I guess that was going through my mind because, if I had done it before, I knew I could do it again.

“It would be amazing to become World Champion for a second time. All week I have been saying that you can’t win the World Championship in the first or second round but you can certainly lose it. All I’ve done is given myself a chance and that’s really exciting for me.”